Thai PM resumes duty in Bangkok; no emergency decree needed


BANGKOK, Jan 3 – The seizure of Bangkok on January 13 will not escalate to the point of having to impose an emergency decree to deal with massive demonstrations, a senior security officer said today.

Paradorn Patanatabut, National Security Council secretary general, said military and police officials will jointly monitor political developments but a preliminary assessment concluded that the situation will not worsen to a critical level.

If necessary, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra can instantly declare an emergency decree, he said.

Ms Yingluck is scheduled to chair a security meeting with high-ranking military and police officers later today to map out preparations for the “Bangkok shutdown” which will possibly paralyse the capital.

Lt Gen Paradorn said anti-government protesters have not been armed and the previous clashes between police and demonstrators were infiltrated by a “third party.”

“We have to be more cautious and adjust our security measures to prevent a third party intervention. We don’t believe there will be a confrontation between pro- and anti-government groups (on January 13),” he said.

A building at the government complex in Chaeng Wattana Road was turned into a temporary office for Ms Yingluck who has been unable to work at Government House. The compound has been blocked by protesters since last month.

She showed up for work this morning, to be greeted by senior government officials who lined up to present her with New Year presents and flowers.

She briefly visited police officers from Region 1 Provincial Police Command in Saraburi and Sing Buri who have been deployed at the government complex.